Orange County man brought knife to his ‘Silent Sam’ toppling trial, officials say

Orange County News

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An Orange County man was arrested as he brought a buck knife to his trial related to the toppling of the UNC Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam.”

Shawn Thomas Birchfield-Finn was arrested in August on charges of defacing a public statue and disturbing the public after Silent Sam was pulled down on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. 

His trial was scheduled to begin Thursday.

Officials said Birchfield-Finn passed several signs advising weapons are not allowed in the courthouse before reaching the metal detector. 

He removed items from his pockets before walking through and setting off the metal detector. 

Deputies conducted a search and found a 3 ½ inch Buck pocket knife that Birchfield-Finn had not removed from his pocket when he removed the other items,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said. 

He was brought before a magistrate and released on a written promise. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 2 and the knife is being held as evidence. 

Amid his arrest for the knife, Birchfield-Finn was served with an outstanding criminal summons out of Durham County for simple assault.

The magistrate gave him a court date and released him.

 Birchfield-Finn then returned to court for his trial.

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